Hana El Gamal
Assistant to the Director
This is such a sad day. It makes me want to scream and cry. People who use their freedom of speech so unwisely only make the point of their own ignorant, hateful, self-importance - which is what "Sam Bacile" [aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula] has done.
It is not about free speech if it is about hate. Free speech is protected; hate speech is not. Did he have a valid point to make, or was he crying "Fire!" in a crowed theater for his own fun? Does his right of free speech value the loss of lives? The problem is not that the line is so thin, it's that it is so broad. It is a point that has been agonized over. Just Google "hate speech" and you'll see; scholarly articles, Supreme Court cases, and we just can't figure out where that line is.
But if Mr. Bacile wanted to make the point that there are ignorant, self-important, extreme, reactionary Muslims who will kill innocent people just because they have been insulted, he made that point. Look what they did!! And they were SO stupid to fall for it and make his point for him. And why kill Americans when it was the Zionist extremists who did the insulting? But that is not THE point.
Mr. Bacile is an ignorant, self-important, extreme reactionary, who will risk innocent lives just to hear himself rant. And, Lord, protect us from the ignorant, self-important, extreme reactionary Christians. Takes one to know one, whatever the flavor. And they all know how to push each others' buttons and set each other off. They are all cancers.
Not all Muslims are terrorist reactionaries. Not all Jews are Zionists. Not all Christians are Muslim haters. There. How does that figure into his "point"? I do not think it did. And that should be the point. We, and many other religions, have co-existed for centuries.
None of it is about religion. It is all about power, and control. Imposing one's will on another. My guess is that Mohammed himself would not really care about being insulted, he was a bigger man than that; but he would care about killing innocent people in his name. Just a thought; no disrespect meant.
$5 million dollars buys a lot of insults. Shows where their priorities are. And what does that get you?
What if Bacile's $5 million had been spent promoting understanding and common ground? We are not going to annihilate one another completely, even if we wanted to, so we might as well look for the common ground. There is a lot of it.
Imagine what the Levantine Cultural Center could do with $5 million dollars.
Joslyn Aitken, Esq.
[Note From the Editor: See Mark LeVine's AlJazeera column on this story.]